LRD Booklets June 2018

Disciplinary and grievance procedures - a guide for union reps

buy now

Introduction
 [pages 4-5] (633 words)

This Labour Research Department (LRD) booklet is intended to provide practical advice and support for union reps or members who are facing a ...
Open access

Chapter 1

1. The Acas Code of Practice on disciplinary and grievance procedures
 [ch 1: pages 6-7] (707 words)

The key resource for union reps representing individual members in both disciplinary and grievance hearings is the Acas Code of Practice on ...
Subscribers only

Core principles of the Acas Code
 [ch 1: pages 7-8] (432 words)

Chapter 2

2. Key features of a disciplinary procedure 
 [ch 2: pages 9-10] (558 words)

Basic principles of fairness dictate that workers need to know the standards expected and what is likely to happen if those standards are not met. It ...
Subscribers only

Developing a disciplinary procedure
 [ch 2: page 10] (130 words)

Negotiating points
 [ch 2: pages 10-12] (962 words)

Acas Guidance on developing good discipline and grievance procedures 
 [ch 2: page 13] (204 words)

Specifying unacceptable conduct
 [ch 2: pages 13-16] (1,389 words)

Implied contract terms
 [ch 2: page 17] (283 words)

Chapter 3

3. Informal and formal procedures
 [ch 3: page 18] (417 words)

The Acas Guidance recommends that minor misconduct or unsatisfactory performance is usually best dealt with informally with “a quiet word”. ...
Subscribers only

Moving from informal to formal stage
 [ch 3: page 19] (248 words)

Chapter 4

4. Investigation 
 [ch 4: pages 20-25] (2,521 words)

At this stage, TUC guidance outlines the typical role played by a union rep representing a member facing a disciplinary as follows: 
 ...
Subscribers only

Covert surveillance evidence
 [ch 4: pages 25-27] (1,160 words)

Anonymous evidence
 [ch 4: pages 28-29] (583 words)

Adjustments
 [ch 4: page 29] (174 words)

Gathering evidence to support the employee’s case
 [ch 4: pages 29-30] (343 words)

Ending the investigation
 [ch 4: page 30] (101 words)

Disciplinary investigations and criminal charges
 [ch 4: pages 30-31] (283 words)

Chapter 5

5. Suspension
 [ch 5: pages 32-34] (1,231 words)

Suspension must never be the “norm” when investigating allegations of gross misconduct. Suspension as a “knee jerk”, hasty, “default“ or ...
Subscribers only

Suspension terms
 [ch 5: pages 34-35] (217 words)

Chapter 6

6. Getting ready for the disciplinary hearing
 [ch 6: pages 36-37] (746 words)

If, following the investigation, it is decided that there is a disciplinary case to answer, the employer must inform the employee. 
 ...
Subscribers only

Supporting evidence 
 [ch 6: pages 37-38] (301 words)

Data Subject Access Request
 [ch 6: pages 38-39] (341 words)

Raising discrimination 
 [ch 6: pages 39-40] (532 words)

Chapter 7

7. A fair disciplinary hearing
 [ch 7: page 41] (66 words)

The Acas Code says a disciplinary hearing should be held without unreasonable delay, while allowing the employee reasonable time to prepare the case. ...
Subscribers only

Attending the hearing
 [ch 7: page 41] (367 words)

Non-attendance due to illness 
 [ch 7: pages 42-43] (653 words)

Arranging for a companion
 [ch 7: page 43] (159 words)

Special hearing arrangements
 [ch 7: pages 43-44] (459 words)

Adjustments for pregnancy and maternity
 [ch 7: pages 44-45] (99 words)

No bias
 [ch 7: page 45] (137 words)

Testing the evidence
 [ch 7: pages 45-46] (475 words)

At the hearing 
 [ch 7: pages 46-47] (375 words)

Asking for an adjournment 
 [ch 7: page 47] (98 words)

The decision 
 [ch 7: page 47] (98 words)

Note-takers 
 [ch 7: pages 47-48] (194 words)

Recording devices
 [ch 7: pages 48-49] (358 words)

Overlapping disciplinary and grievance procedures
 [ch 7: pages 49-51] (939 words)

The band of reasonable responses
 [ch 7: page 51] (296 words)

Precedent and consistency
 [ch 7: pages 51-52] (376 words)

General arguments to make in disciplinaries
 [ch 7: pages 52-53] (143 words)

Apologising
 [ch 7: page 53] (203 words)

Disability 
 [ch 7: pages 53-54] (196 words)

Checklist: Representing a member accused of poor performance [ch 7: pages 54-55] (640 words)

Checklist: Representing a member disciplined for intermittent absence 
 [ch 7: page 56] (304 words)

Chapter 8

8. The right to be accompanied
 [ch 8: page 57] (468 words)

All workers (not just employees) have the right to be accompanied at disciplinary and grievance hearings under section 10 of the Employment Relations ...
Subscribers only

Who can be a companion
 [ch 8: page 58] (475 words)

Making a request to be accompanied 
 [ch 8: page 59] (389 words)

Right to paid time off
 [ch 8: pages 59-60] (257 words)

Right to time off for training
 [ch 8: page 60] (246 words)

The role of the companion
 [ch 8: pages 60-61] (155 words)

Enforcing the right to be accompanied
 [ch 8: page 61] (87 words)

Facilities under the Acas Code on time off for trade union duties 
 [ch 8: page 61] (138 words)

Protection from victimisation
 [ch 8: pages 61-62] (192 words)

Confidentiality of case work 
 [ch 8: page 62] (261 words)

Chapter 9

9. Decisions
 [ch 9: page 63] (114 words)

After the disciplinary hearing, the employer must decide whether to take disciplinary action, and must inform the employee. A good disciplinary ...
Subscribers only

Possible mitigation arguments 

 [ch 9: pages 63-64] (268 words)

Disciplinary penalties
 [ch 9: page 65] (73 words)

Warnings 
 [ch 9: pages 64-65] (280 words)

Moving straight to a Final Warning
 [ch 9: page 65] (225 words)

Dismissals triggered by Final Warnings
 [ch 9: pages 65-66] (241 words)

How long should warnings remain live? 
 [ch 9: page 66] (84 words)

Lapsed warnings 
 [ch 9: pages 66-67] (295 words)

Dismissal 
 [ch 9: page 67] (225 words)

Chapter 10

10. Appeals
 [ch 10: page 68] (162 words)

All disciplinary procedures must provide a right to appeal. Failure to allow an appeal is a breach of the Acas Code (see Chapter 1) and any ...
Subscribers only

To appeal or not to appeal
 [ch 10: pages 68--70] (868 words)

Preparing appeal grounds 
 [ch 10: pages 70-71] (502 words)

Who hears the appeal?
 [ch 10: page 71] (45 words)

Appeal hearings
 [ch 10: pages 71-72] (179 words)

Other stages of appeal
 [ch 10: page 72] (34 words)

Effect of appeal on dismissal date
 [ch 10: page 72] (127 words)

Effect of appeal on further disciplinary action
 [ch 10: page 72] (75 words)

Chapter 11

11. Grievance procedures
 [ch 11: page 73] (85 words)

Like disciplinary procedures, grievance procedures must meet the requirements of the Acas Code (see Chapter 1). An unreasonable failure to raise a ...
Subscribers only

Time limits
 [ch 11: page 73] (116 words)

Establishing a grievance procedure
 [ch 11: page 73] (202 words)

Drawing up grievance procedures
 [ch 11: page 74] (138 words)

Grievance procedures and third parties
 [ch 11: page 74] (204 words)

Raising a grievance
 [ch 11: pages 74-75] (490 words)

Grievance content 
 [ch 11: page 76] (178 words)

Who hears the grievance
 [ch 11: page 76] (89 words)

Raising discrimination 
 [ch 11: pages 76-77] (222 words)

The grievance hearing and decision
 [ch 11: pages 77-78] (397 words)

Appealing a grievance decision
 [ch 11: page 78] (172 words)

Status quo agreements
 [ch 11: page 78] (206 words)

Chapter 12

12. Organising around grievances and disciplinary issues
 [ch 12: pages 79-81] (847 words)

Unions have always understood that many workplace disputes can best be dealt with collectively through collective bargaining or collective grievances. ...
Subscribers only

Chapter 13

13. Mediation 
 [ch 13: pages 82-83] (504 words)

While collective action is generally the best way to resolve problems in the workplace, the TUC recognises that mediation has an important role to ...
Subscribers only

Chapter 14

14. TUPE and discipline and grievance issues
 [ch 14: page 84] (103 words)

Increasingly, reps are asked to help members who face discipline and grievance issues against the backdrop of a TUPE transfer, for example, a ...
Subscribers only

Employee liability information 
 [ch 14: page 84] (62 words)

No right to refuse to employ employees with a poor disciplinary record
 [ch 14: page 84] (132 words)

Disciplinaries unresolved at transfer date
 [ch 14: page 84] (122 words)

Appeals
 [ch 14: page 85] (147 words)

Chapter 15

15. References and the disciplinary and grievance process
 [ch 15: page 86] (53 words)

In general, an employer is not obliged to give a reference. Any reference provided must be true, accurate and fair, but there is no duty to be full ...
Subscribers only

What can a reference say about disciplinary issues?
 [ch 15: page 86] (195 words)

Can an agreed reference be negotiated? 
 [ch 15: page 86] (115 words)

Victimisation 
 [ch 15: page 86] (71 words)

Further information

Further information
 [pages 87-88] (476 words)

The Labour Research Department: www.lrd.org.uk. LRD publishes regular booklets on legal issues of interest to trade union reps and members, and on ...
Subscribers only